My Review of “Extravagant Grace” by Barbara Duguid

Extravagant GraceExtravagant Grace by Barbara R. Duguid

My (Goodreads) rating: 5 of 5 stars

UPDATE (2014 Sept 30): I believe that while many may benefit from this book and while it does address many pastoral issues, I would like to clarify that I find this book’s view of justification and sanctification as pastorally incomplete. See my review of Mark Jones’ Antinomianism, which I believe offers a more nuanced and fuller perspective. The link is provided at the end of this post.

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First, I would like to thank the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals for rewarding me with this free book from their book giveaway hosted on the Mortification of Spin Podcast Series (you can see my name there). Now I can’t say I don’t win giveaways anymore (though forsooth, I would have preferred winning something like Amazon’s $5000 giveaway, but I must learn gratitude and contentment! I am thankful for winning this book).

Though I have to turn a paper in next week, I have quickly skimmed and read the whole book and found it completely worth my time, even though I had originally thought it would benefit others more than it would benefit me (because I don’t need this grace, right? Wrong…) I would like to write a book review of this, but I am too lazy and have the excuse of an actual paper due next Monday.

Instead, I will simply quote Ed Welch’s blurb in the front of the book that offers a glimpse of this immensely helpful and practical book:

Consider this: “What if growing in grace is more about humility, dependence, and exalting Christ than it is about defeating sin?” No, this is not heresy; this is deft and loving pastoral care. If you are earnest in your desire to follow Jesus but wondering why you still feel like such a sinner, this is the perfect book for you.

Her understanding of sin and God’s sovereignty and glory and supremacy segues almost perfectly (at least in my mind!) with John Piper’s excellent sermon on Suffering and the Supremacy of Christ. Really, this issue of ongoing sin profoundly forces us to wrestle with God’s goodness and sovereignty and holiness in the midst of sin, evil, and suffering, and with our own need for holiness (which we already have in Christ!!!) and our profound weakness.

Oh, and one parting thought: this book really drives home the point that the blessing of sanctification is really God’s gift, and when and if he grants deliverance is really for his purposes and for his glory. That’s both profoundly scary and comforting, and humbly so both ways. (This kills legalism for sure.)

But to get a fuller picture of what Scripture teaches, balance this with Mark Jones’ excellent book guarding against Antinomianism.

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